Boitatá, the fire snake…

For the night is dark and full of terrors.

Sorry, I’m not talking about Game of Thrones, I got a little caught up, but this legend is somewhat as dark as GOT. Rumor has that a certain time in Brazil the woods were in darkness, without any sign of sunlight. Heavy storms had felt, causing flooding in the forests, leading to the death of many animals.

Of the few animals that remained, a snake was left without food, making it eat the eyes of the other dead animals that it could find. Because of that, the light of these eyes started to build up inside the snake’s body, leaving it totally transparent and illuminated.

However, feeding on animal eyes left the snake weakened and after a while, it  could no longer resist. They say that the internal light that came out of the snake turned back into the sun, bringing light back to the world.

The snake came to be called Boitatá and according to the legend it protects the  forests against fires.

G.N.S

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La Pincoya: The mermaid of abundance

This legend was originated at the Greater Island of Chiloé, off the Chilean coast, in the Pacific Ocean. During rainy winter nights, its inhabitants carry out an age-old tradition by sitting around a fireplace and telling children and/or foreign visitors about the different beliefs that gives this magic island its own special identity, and this is one of its most popular fisherman’s tale.

Rumors has it that this unique place was home to La Pincoya, a young and very beautiful mermaid with human characteristics and a long blond hair, daughter of the king of the sea.

 

According to this legend, when a fisherman witnesses La Pincoya dance, it’s a sign of abundance. She is responsible for patrolling the beaches and protecting the ocean, and her task is to fertilize the fish and shellfish beneath the water.

What is different about it though is that the amount of fish and seafood in the ocean depends on where La Pincoya faces while she dances. If facing the sea, then the people of Chiloé can rest assured that there will have an abundant harvest, but if she dances looking towards shore the fishes go away.

Another interesting factor about La Pincoya is that she likes to see people happy and cheerful,  so if she sees the fisherman’s having a good time it’s more likely that she will dance facing the sea.

So, next time you go fishing, we highly recommend that you go with friends rather than alone, and enjoy as much as you can, so you will have higher chances of catching something 🙂

G.S

 

The moon and a flower – Vitória Regia

This is one of the most famous and traditional Brazilian legends. According to it, in the beginning of the world, every time the moon (Jaci) was hiding on the horizon, looking down from behind the mountains, it was taking one of its favorite virgins to live with it. It also said that, if the moon liked a young girl, it would make her a star in heaven.

Legend has it that an Indian called Naia, contemplating the moon shining in the sky felt in love with it and after learning about the legend, Naia dreamed of one day turning into star alongside Jaci.

Lenda_da_Vitoria_Regia

So every night, Naia would leave home to watch the moon and wait for the moment that it would reach the horizon and rush out to try to catch it. Naia repeated this search  every night, until one day, while trying to reach the moon,  Naia saw its reflection in the stream of water and without hesitating dived in an attempt to touch it and ends up drowning .

Jaci is touched with the effort of Naia and transforms the large flower of the Amazon, the Victoria Regia, which only opens its petals in the moonlight.

vitoriaregia

 

Açai, the legend!

Pretty much everyone knows by now the benefits of eating Açai but besides being delicious it has a very interesting and tense legend behind it and we are here to share this incredible story with you!

açai-roxo-cestos

Rumor has it that a long time ago, before the city of Belém existed in the north of Brazil, the area was home to a pretty large indigenous tribe.

As the food was insufficient and it was becoming very difficult to get enough food to feed all the Indians of the tribe, the Itaki cacique decided that from that day on all  newborns would be sacrificed to prevent the increase of his tribe.

But everything changed when the daughter of the cacique, called IACA, gave birth to a beautiful girl, who also had to be sacrificed. IACA was desperate, crying every night longing for her little girl and she asked Tupã to show his father another way to help his people, without the sacrifice of children.

One night, IACA heard a child crying and as she approached the door of her hut, she saw her beautiful daughter smiling at the foot of a palm tree. but as she tried to hug her, the little girl mysteriously disappeared.

IACA, inconsolable, cried until fainting and on the next morning, her body was found embracing the palm tree trunk, but her face still wore a happy smile and her black eyes gazed at the top of the palm tree, which was filled with dark little fruits.

Itaki then collected the fruits, which offered a reddish juice,  and named it ACAI, in honor of his daughter (inverted IACA). He fed his people and, from this day, he suspended his order to sacrifice children.

G.S

The “Little Grazing Boy”

Brazilians in general are very religious and over 85% of the population declares itself Christian, meaning that there are about 166 million people who claim to be Catholic or Protestant in Brazil.

In this sense, it’s very natural to have many legends that originates from Christianity, and this is just one example among many in Brazil.

So, let’s get to it! The “Little Black Grazing Boy” is an African-Christian legend told in the very late nineteenth century by the Brazilians who defended the end of slavery and was originated in the south of the country.

Negrinhodopastoreio

Legend has it that in times of slavery, there was an evil rancher that used to constantly punish his slaves and pedestrians, and on a cold winter day, the farmer sent a fourteen years old black boy to shepherd the horses and foals that he had just bought.

In the afternoon, when the boy returned, the rancher noticed that a bay horse was missing, so he picked up the whip, beat the boy and left him naked and bleeding in an anthill.

Next morning, when he went to see the boy, the rancher he was startled. The boy was there, but standing with smooth skin and no marks of lashes or ants bites. Beside him were Virgin Mary and the other horses.

The rancher threw himself on the ground asking for forgiveness, but the black boy didn’t answered him, but instead, kissed Virgin Mary’s hand, mounted on horse and left.

After that, regional drovers and lorry drivers reported to have seen pass a group of grays horses, played by a black boy mounted on a bay horse, and many lighted candles and prayed for the tortured soul.

Till these days, The Grazing Boy is considered by those who believe in the legend as the protector of the people who loses something. According to the belief, if you miss something, just ask for the pastoral boy help to find it. In return, one should light a candle to the child or buy a plant or flower.

G.S

The Ciguapa

The Ciguapa

La Ciguapa

The Dominican Republic is known for its beautiful landscapes and paradisiac beaches. We all wish to visit one of their wonderful resorts and swim in their light blue ocean while zipping some ice cold drink with a straw and one of those tiny umbrellas.

But according to the legend it is not all sand and sun in the Dominican Republic. Legend says that if you go a bit further into the mountains you might see one of the most mythical creatures from the region.

Ciguapas as they call them, are savage women that live inside the shadows of the Dominican forests. They are small beautiful women with long skinny legs, dark skin, big dark eyes and long silky black hair. They wear no clothes since their gorgeous hair is so long that covers their entire body (like a long shiny gown). They are shy and moody and sometimes make a bird like noise while walking around the forest. But their most interesting feature is that their feet are set backwards so that if someone finds them they can run away from them while looking directly into their eyes striking fear into their enemy.

It is well known that the Ciguapas come out at night looking for food. They collect fruits and vegetables and hunt small animals in order to survive. Sometimes they even get closer to the villages and steal their food when there is no one watching. Then they climb to the top of a tree to eat and rest hiding from anyone that could be wondering around the area.

Villagers know that if they hunt a Ciguapa she most likely will die since they can’t bare the sorrow of being captive. But there is a main reason for the villagers not to visit the forest at night and not even thinking about looking for a Ciguapa. Legend says that Ciguapas not only look for food near the villages but also for lonely men wondering around the forest. They lore them with their beauty and sensuality bringing them to their caves making passionate love to them and then killing them and eating them bit by bit.

Many villagers’ deaths and disappearances have been attributed to the Ciguapas. Even nowadays people living near the forest know that when they hear a bird like noise at night they better stay in their homes with their families and of course, guarding the kitchen.

pico duarte dominican

Pico Duarte – Dominican Republic

CDLG

The Myth of the Condor

el mito del cóndor

Once upon a time there was an old shepherd who lived with his beautiful young daughter in a little village at the top of the Andes. The girl pastured the sheep, llamas and other animals from her father’s farm.

Suddenly a young man started to visit her at the mountains. He went to see her every day dressed in a very elegant way. Black suite and black hat (like if he was going to some sort of gala in the Andes) and a beautiful shiny white scarf. They hang out together during the day when he visited while she pastured the animals.

Eventually they became close friends and at one of this friendly visits he asked the girl to play a game. “If you pick me up, I’ll pick you up”. She trusted the man and lifted her arms facing him. He grabbed her and by making a quick jump into the sky he turned into a magnificent condor and took the girl to his nest.

They lived together in his nest for a long time. He brought her food and took care of her and she fell in love with him and gave him a beautiful baby. The girl loved them both but she missed her father deeply and cried every night thinking about how lonely her poor old dad was.

One day she saw a humming bird passing by and asked him for help. The bird would go to the village and bring her father to rescue her and her child and in reward the humming bird will have every flower in her dad’s farm for himself. The cheerful bird accepted and on the next day the girl’s father was there with a dead donkey to distract the Condor while they rescued the girl and her child.

Once they were gone and the Condor had finished eating he returned to his nest and instead of his family he found two green frogs in their place. The humming bird was waiting for him there and told him that the girl and their son turn into frogs right in front of his eyes and there was nothing he could do.

Legend says that now the Condor watches over the Andes trying to find a new girl to bring to his nest and just once in a while when he sees someone as beautiful as the shepherd’s daughter he becomes an elegant young man and visits them trying to trick them into playing a game with him.

condor legend Peru

CDLG

The Sunflower Legend

 

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The Sunflower legend

The Sunflower or “Helianthus” name in greek after Hēlios which means “sun” and Anthos which means “flower”, is consider a genius plant with more than 70 species. Recognized around the world because for its beauty, is also an important source of food. Its oil and seeds are valued as healthy nutritious and ingredient of many foods.

The Argentinian legend about the Sunflower

The legend says that closed to the Paraná River in Argentina, two main tribes were located. One of them was closest to the river. His Cacique was called Pirayú. Nearby was another tribe and Mandió as his Cacique. Pirayú and Mandió were very closed friends. Both tribes were very close exchanging constantly handcrafts and food.

Parana River

Paraná River

Carandaí daughter of Pirayú was a quiet beautiful girl. She spent most of her time looking after the sun.  On cloudy days, she gots sad and mad. Meanwhile, on sunny days, she was the happiest and shinning girl in her whole tribe.

The sunflower legend 3

The Sunflower legend

One day, Mandió woke up with the great idea of joining both tribes reason why, he asked Pirayú to marry his daughter. Pirayú uncomfortable with his friend petition, angrily said No, explaining that his daughter, Carandaí, offered her life to the God “Sun”. Mandió upset with Pirayú’s reply, promised revenge.

One day, Carandaí was in her canoe looking to the sunset, when she saw fire coming from her tribe houses. She swam as fast as she could. Once she got there, she tried to land, but she couldn’t. Some external power didn’t allow her to leave her canoe. Mandió with angry voice, started to scream at her “You’ll have to ask your god to save you from my revenge” …them laugh.

Sunflower legend sunset

The Sunflower legend

Carandaí started to pray and beg “Cuarahjí”, the God of sun: “please, please my god, don’t let Mandaio to end with me and my town, please Cuarahjí, please my god”. She didn’t finish her prayers when Cuarahjí sent over her some storm rays that surround her and suddenly made her disappeared.

On the same place where Carandaí was praying and then disappeared, a plant started to growth. It had a huge green stem and a bright golden yellow flower, that as the princess of the tribe, keep her face upon the sky, always following the sun course, giving birth to the Sunflower.

Sunflowerlegend canoe

The Sunflower Legend

NP

Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl

Leyenda del Popocatepetl Iztaccihuatl

Mexico is one of the most popular touristic destinations of the world and among their amazing geographic attractions are Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl, two of the highest volcanos in that side of the world.

This two have been the principal characters of many legends and many have tried to explain their origin being the most popular story the one that talks about two star-crossed lovers destined to be together for all eternity.

The legend of Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl.

Legend says that a long long time ago during the heyday of the Aztec Empire there was a young princess named Iztaccíhuatl, she was the most beautiful woman of the empire, all men loved her and women wanted to be like her. The princess was in love of a young warrior named Popocatepetl, he was brave and handsome and had eyes only for the princess. The both of them were very much in love and had promised to love each other for all eternity.

Princess Iztaccíhuatl was the daughter of the chief of the Tlaxcaltecas, sworn enemies of the Aztecs. Both cities had been fighting for a long time and young men where sent to war every day. Popocatepetl was soon to be send to fight so before leaving, he asked the chief to let him marry his daughter upon his return. The chief agreed as long as he returns victorious.

Popocatepetl promised the princess to come back so they could get married and live happily ever after but not long after his departure a vicious and jealous character by the name of Tlaxcala told the princess that her beloved warrior had died in battle. She was so depressed that she died… without even trying to find out if what this guy said was true.

The warrior was, of course, alive and when he returned and found out his beautiful princess had died of sorrow he was so upset that he wondered around the city for several days and nights until he realized he had to do something for the princess to never be forgotten. He had a big tomb built specially for her, putting several hills together in order to form a big mountain under the Mexican sun and took the princess’ body to the top of the mountain, kissed her and stood next to her, holding his torch and watching her sleep, for all eternity.

It is said that now, every time the young warrior remembers his princess, his heart shakes and his torch smokes and that is why the volcano sometimes shoots fumes.

Tlaxcala, the mean ugly man that lied to Iztaccíhuatl about her lover being dead eventually died of guilt and according to the legend he lays in a nearby mountain named “Pico de Orizaba” watching the two lovers together forever.

popocatepl & Iztaccihuatl

CDLG

Fofão Dolls – The Legend

This is another Brazilian urban tale about Fofão,  a tv character from Balão Mágico (Magic Balloon), a very popular children’s tv show that aired in the 80s. The character was so successful that in 1986 it gained its own tv show and not long after it also had a doll made to his image and likeness.

Fofão in Portuguese means something like Fluffy, which is very comprehensible if you look at his huge cheeks! Well, if you look at it now you might find him very scary, but during the 80s he was adored by the kids.

Fofão

But it all changed when he started to be compared to Chucky, the killer toy. The rumors started to spread around at the same time that the American movie was released, but Brazilians added a little spin to it.

According to the Brazilian legend, the stuffing of the toy was not as cuddly as the toy cheeks, and it was said that if you opened its belly you would find a black knife hidden inside the toy.

Fofão Faca

We don’t need to say that the rumor created panic between children’s and their parents, who started to boycott the toy.

The legend still persists among those who played with Fofão during their childhood, but luckily for today’s kids, the toys have a cutter face!